Sort out our parking problems
There are calls to keep traffic wardens out of Bingham until the town’s parking problems have been resolved.
The meeting was held to give town and borough councillors, the town campaign group, Community Concern, and Bingham Business Club the chance to suggest to the borough council ways of improving parking in the town.
An agreement between Rushcliffe Borough Council and Nottinghamshire County Council will see wardens back on the streets in May as the responsibility for issuing tickets switches from the police to councils.
The chairman of Community Concern, Mr Tim Chamberlin, said carparks were often full, businesses suffered because customers could not park nearby and illegal parking was rife.
He said with only three months to go before traffic wardens were back out issuing parking tickets there was not enough time to do anything to ease Bingham’s problems.
“We find it disturbing that we are discussing the potential solutions three months before implementation,” he said.
“We ask that the scheme be delayed until agreement on the way forward has been reached.
“It is, after all, intended to reduce problems and not cause them.”
Mr Chamberlin said they were in favour of the three town centre carparks and on-street town centre spaces being used for short-stay parking, plus the provision of long-stay disabled bays and parking permits for residents.
His group supported the introduction of park and ride for longer stays.
“We believe that the bulk of long stay parkers are people who use the town as a park and ride or employees of businesses in the town,” he said.
“If the town centre carparks are used for short stays only then, to avoid displacement on to residential streets, they must have parking within walking distance of the town centre or on a bus route and this means the creation of park and rides.
“This problem has been caused by the continual building schemes sanctioned by the borough council with no plan and no heed to the consequences.
“We suggest that any project costs be funded by the borough and that parking fees should be free or nominal.”
Bingham Business Club has published a discussion document on parking in Bingham.
The chairman, Mr Adrian Malpass, said there was no point penalising people before parking and traffic problems had been resolved.
He said 15 spaces had been lost in the Needham Street and Union Street carparks after what the borough council described as improvement work.
The business club document supports a park and ride facility and merging the Needham Street and Union Street carparks.
Other options included a one way system around the town centre,more consistent enforcement of parking regulations and improved public transport.
As a last resort other elements of parking control such as a free permit scheme for residents and businesses and parking charges in the town centre could be considered.
After the meeting Mr Malpass said he felt the borough council would opt for the cheap and easy option of parking charges, rather than looking at other ideas.
“Rushcliffe seem to have no interest in the right decision for Bingham,” he said.
“They are the fundamental cause of Bingham’s parking problems through repeatedly rubber-stamping huge housing developments in our town, and now removing 15 parking spaces through so-called improvements.”
After its parking consultation a borough council panel will make recommendations to a cabinet meeting later this year.
A borough council spokesman said the work at Needham Street and Union Street carparks were part of the council’s commitment to safer parking and all council-owned carparks were being brought up to national standards
To achieve this bays were marked out to recommended dimensions, roadway widths were increased and disabled bays properly marked.
The spokesman said the changes would make manoeuvring in and out of spaces easier, there would be more room to open car doors should reduce bumps, dents and scratches on vehicles.
She said all suggestions made at the meeting would be considered.
More by this authorPeter Harris